Embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “is running against the GOP establishment in Washington,” James Arkin reports at RealClearPolitics.
Republican Roy Moore is increasingly running against the GOP establishment in Washington after top elected officials called for him to exit the race amid allegations of sexual assault and improper relationships with teenagers decades ago.
Moore’s struggles and the shock of the allegations against him have tilted the race significantly, providing an opening for Democrat Doug Jones to compete in ruby red Alabama, which supported President Trump by nearly 30 points over Hillary Clinton last November. But in order to stay competitive, Jones is avoiding just about any association with the Democratic Party, aside from running as its nominee.
The parties’ situations differ enormously: The allegations against Moore — which he has repeatedly denied — have stirred an outcry within the GOP, and few Republicans outside of Alabama want to see him assume the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Democrats across the country would cheer Jones’ victory, though they are strategically avoiding a public embrace of the candidate. What both parties do share, however, are images that are toxic to many voters, and increasingly limited sway outside the Beltway.
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The struggle is emblematic of a war that has raged within the Republican Partyover past election cycles, and is likely to continue next year as well. Steve Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News and Trump’s former chief strategist, has vowed to wage war against McConnell in Senate races across the country, which kicked off during the Alabama special election primary. If Moore wins while attacking McConnell, it would send shockwaves through the GOP heading into the 2018 cycle. Some Republicans also worry it would harm other party candidates by association.
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